The De La Rue Koala Pen
March 6, 2016 11 Comments
This one is a bit unusual. It’s a Koala Pen made by De La Rue for, I assume, the Australian market. There is a possibility that it was made by the Australian distributors, Norman Baker and Longhurst, as they made Onotos after 1957. I would have thought that this might have been a bit earlier than that, but it’s hard to tell. It would be interesting to know how it made its way back to Britain.
The pen measures 12.2 cm capped and it’s in a beautiful gold/brown/black marble. The end of the barrel and the finial are black. It has a small red decal which looks as though it is made from a different plastic and affixed with heat. This contains the letter “M” which I assume indicates that the nib is medium. This is the usual DLR&Co Warranted 14 carat nib.
The more I look at the imprint “The Koala Pen” the more it seems to me that it is an impression made with a hot iron. It’s quite a rarity. They do pop up from time to time but I haven’t actually seen one for several years.
I’m not sure whether that clip is original or not. I don’t have much in the way of reference on De La Rue pens, and they’re quite hard to search for online as they are generally masked by the more popular Onoto. On balance, I would say it’s more likely than not that it isn’t original, but memory fails me.
It’s a nice oddity and it clearly fits into somewhere in the declining years of pen production by the De La Rue company.